** (two of five stars)
The Punisher breaks up a meeting involving the exchange of a locked briefcase. After failing the test to becoming a taxi driver, Peter Parker bumps into the Punisher on the street and decides to follow him as Spidey. The Punisher watches a DVD of Moses Magnum testing a gamma-irradiated version of mutant growth hormone serum, doses of which the briefcase contained. Spidey tries to convinces the Punisher not to go on a mission to kill Magnum and his men, just as Magnum and said men appear to recover the serum. Spidey and the Punisher defeat them. Meanwhile, the Bookie (fancying himself some sort of private investigator) accuses JJJ of being the "Tracer Killer." JJJ denies it and tazes him. The Bookie allegedly has an epiphany as a result.
Meh. I've never been a huge fan of the Punisher, so this issue didn't really do anything for me. I thought the "Spidey just so happened to bump into the Punisher" bit was a ridiculous way to pull Spidey into the story. But, otherwise, it's a pretty well written comic, so a Punisher fan probably would rank it higher. The art was pretty awful, though, which led me to give it two stars instead of three. Like the Flash Thompson issue and (to a certain extent) the "Family Ties" arc before it, this issue doesn't really do that much to address ongoing plot lines. Unfortunately, I also didn't find it to be that interesting of a stand-alone issue.